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Michigan woman, contractor spar over home contract

Detroit residents make agreements with one another multiple times each day. Whether it is deciding what to eat for dinner at home or making a deal in the office, individuals are more well-equipped to compromise and reach an agreement than they might realize. Of course, the higher the stakes involved in the agreement, the more important it may be to ensure a person has protected himself or herself in the agreement.

Despite a person's best intentions, contract disputes arise quite often when things go wrong. What once appeared to be a clear understanding may become murky, at least according to one party, who may dispute the language of the contract he or she agreed to.

For instance, a Michigan woman is currently undergoing a contract dispute with her contractor over her new home. The woman and the contractor entered into an agreement for the construction of a modular home in late 2014. According to the woman, she believed she would be able to move into the home within 90 days, but she has now waited 14 weeks without being able to move in to the home. However, the contractor disputes it agreed to a 90-day timeline and says nothing in the contract guarantees such a date. The contractor also noted that, under Michigan law, heavy-duty trucks and cranes could not drive on the roads in late winter or early spring, which impacted the construction project.

It remains to be seen how the above dispute will be resolved. However, similar cases arise frequently, after which it is necessary to look to the principles of contract law to determine how the dispute will be resolved. Courts typically apply certain rules of construction to the contract, which essentially means there are rules the courts will follow in interpreting contracts.

For instance, some courts start with an examination of the plain language of the contract, and if something is not contained in the written contract, the court may hold it was never part of the deal. Each case is different, however, and must be resolved based on the language of the contract at issue.


Source: WNDU, "Customer, contractor dispute over Bridgman home," Maria Catanzarite, July 2, 2015

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